Cops Get Their Wii Bowl On During Drug Raid
Undercover cops conducting a raid on a drug dealer decided that victory was best rewarded by playing Wii bowling. A security camera wired into the suspects home picked up on some members of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) task force playing Wii while others conducted a search of the premises. The Wii playing began only 20 minutes after the police broke down the door. One female detective repeatedly put down evidence she was cataloguing to pick up the Wii remote, and is even shown jumping up and down with excitement of having bowled two strikes in a row. Others are shown bowling frame after frame in heated competition. It’s reported that the Wii time totaled to a little over an hour.
Besides being bad press for the force, a Florida local defense attorney offered “The real question here is have they seized property that wasn’t described in the search warrant? Clearly if they’re using it, they’ve seized it and for totally improper purposes, because it’s for entertainment. Investigations are not for entertainment.”
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd denies the video and actions of the police will have any effect on the case.
“That absolutely is not true; that doesn’t invalidate the search at all,” Judd said. “Now the defendant would like for it to invalidate the search, but unfortunately for him, it won’t.” He called the situation embarassing and initiated an internal administrative investigation of the incident.
According to others involved:
“Obviously, this is not the kind of behavior we condone,” Lakeland Police Chief Roger Boatner said. “There was a lot of down time, but that does not excuse the fact that we should act as the consummate professionals.”
“Certainly this was a case of bad judgment,” Auburndale Police Chief Nolan McLeod said. “We will handle it appropriately.”
Winter Haven police Sgt. Brad Coleman said Chief E.C. Waters had not viewed the video. “If there is any indication that someone did something inappropriately, we will do something about it,” Coleman said.
Police had been monitoring the suspect since 2008, and a warrant was issued to search for drugs, stolen property and the fruits of any illegal drug activity. Documents filed with the courts revealed detectives had removed methamphetamine, marijuana, drug paraphernalia, weapons and more than $30,000 in stolen propertyThe suspect had served previous prison time for rafficking drugs, owning and operating a chop shop, and grand theft.
The raid cost taxpayers more than $4,000, but Judd, Boatner and Mcleod argue that though the Wii bowling at the scene was inappropriate, the raid was worth every cent.